The day began like many others in the Buccaneer household: with "Shih!" Grace said sharply, but she chuckled. "I suppose I am goingChing Shih and the twins hurriedly gobbling down breakfast with to become somewhat... saggy... arent I? Ah, well... the plastictheir mother, Grace. But at least on this morning, they were not surgery machine has been in the family for ages."nearly as rushed as they normally were: it was Sunday, which meantno school. "You wont even need it, I bet," Shih said. "Plus, that thing can have some nasty side effects. I looked them up a few days ago.""And everybody is coming over for the party tonight?" Spandrellasked excitedly. "Will you introduce me to everyone who comes?" Spandrell asked plaintively, not wanting to be forgotten in the conversation."Just about," Shih said. "Its not every day that the legacy matriarch "Sometimes it seems like I dont know anybody!"gets old and wrinkly." "Just make sure you introduce me to the ladies," Borusa said.
"Oh, youre way too young to be thinking about that sort of thing," Shih said affectionately, reaching across to tousle her younger brothers hair."Why dont you go make sure none of your ants have starved overnight?""Oh yeah!" Borusa said excitedly. "That was the best present ever, Shih. Thanks!""No problemo, kid," Shih grinned. "But youll have to remember to thank Zing too when he gets here. He picked it out all the way in Paris. I justsent him the money.""Thanks to both of you," Borusa called over his shoulder as he dashed into the bedroom, where his ants in their farm had made considerableinroads. Borusa spent the next several hours happily poring over his insectoid pets.
Spandrell was equally happy with the gift Shih and Zing had picked out for him in celebration of his topping the honour roll."Going to make Moms birthday cake for tonight?" Shih teased him as she strolled past the couch where her other younger brother was whollyabsorbed in his gourmet cookbook."Nah, dad went and bought a bunch from a fancy bakery since its Auntie Gerties birthday and Andrews birthday too," Spandrell said, sighingslightly in disappointment. "Besides, I cant fit a whole cake into my E-Z-bake oven.""But youre the best muffin-baker Ive ever known," Shih said. "Well, Im glad you like your gift, bro. Just dont study too hard! Remember to havefun!""This is fun," Spandrell called after her, but Shih was already logging onto the computer and wasnt paying attention.
"You have no new messages," Shih read, and pursed her lips slightly in disappointment. "Well, Mr. Jim is a busy man... its report card time andall. Oh well... that doesnt mean I cant write to him again anyway!"Shih and her long-time pen pal and mentor, "Mr. Jim", had an easy friendship that had evolved over their long years of correspondence. Now thatShih was 18 and nearly an adult herself, their camaraderie was evolving into a more adult relationship. While Shih still chattered about her day-to-day life, this was often supplemented with in-depth discussions of topics ranging from the genetic characterization of womrats to the socio-economic structure of villages colonized entirely by one family.The friendship had become one very dear to both Shih and Jim.
"My dear, you look like a billion simoleans," Lee said, kissing up wife close for one last, tender kiss. "Have fun today, and Ill be homeGraces arm with a Pepe Le Peu-like mien. in plenty of time for the party.""Flatterer," Grace said, swooning. "Will you still think so when Im "Youd better," Grace said, shaking her fist at him threateningly. "Itsold and grey, Lee?" already no fair that you dont have your birthday until tomorrow. If youre not watching when I transition, Ill never forgive you." But her"Ive always been a fan of silver," Lee said. "Lots of currency based voice was filled with laughter as the two of them filed down theon silver. Its a valuable metal... but not worth half as much as you." hallway and outside--Lee to his waiting helicopter, and Grace to her waiting daughter."Mo-om, cmon!" Shihs voice chimed through the open window. Both of them had mellowed a lot with age."Our daughter awaits, and I should get to work," Lee said, pulling his
"Are you sure you want to pit yourself against the likes of me?" Grace said with a cocky smile as she hefted the pigskin in her hands. "I was achampion touch football player back in the day.""I need to demonstrate prowess in several different sports to qualify for the athletics scholarship," Shih said as she beckoned for her mother to tossher the football. "Ive pretty much got it in the bag, but I like practicing. Football is fun!""Studious, and a natural-born athlete," Grace said proudly. "And who am I to argue with you earning even more money for your college career?What day do you have to be at the college?"
"Oh, not for a few more weeks," Shih said, catching the ball easily and lobbing it right back at her mother. "The day after my birthday, actually.There are a few more scholarships I want to try for before then--I think Ive got a pretty good chance.""Since there are a lot of generous donors, the school does have a lot of scholarships to offer," Grace agreed. "If you need any help with any ofthem, Shih, just let me know.""Thanks, mom, but I think Ive got it covered," Shih said, catching the ball again. With a wicked grin, she lobbed the ball as hard as she could ather mom. "Think fast!""Ooof!"
Late that afternoon, in the hour or so just before sunset, what felt like the entire population of Pirate Island gathered in the chilly late-fall air for thetriple birthday celebration in honour of Grace, Gertie, and Andrew Bigfoot.A few of the simselves were displaying something of an odd fashion quirk, to Graces eyes--they almost looked like theyd been struck bylightning. But she shrugged off the oddity and leaned forward to blow out her candles.She was followed shortly thereafter by her younger sister, Gertie, and the familys Bigfoot, Andrew.
Gertie was the first to return to the party after getting changed. Shed were just a legend!"decided to keep her Grilled-Cheese cultist garb, even though shedstarted expanding her tastes into other arenas since completing her "Errr... I live just down the street," I said. "Big log cabin, filled withlifetime want. blue people? You cant miss us.""Honestly, Goddess, I dont know what Id do with myself wearin "I thought rumors of your divinity had been greatly exaggerated,"regular clothes," she confided in an undertone. I dont think she was Gertie shrugged.expecting an answer. "The immortality didnt give it away?""Well, if anybody can pull off the look, you can," I said. "Thoughyou might want to tighten your top a little. Youre... errr... swinging a "Lots of immortals on Pirate Island," Gertie said. "Aunt Celeste,bit low." Uncle Jack, Uncle Bart, my sister Susanna... the Simselves..."Gertie just about jumped out of her skin. "Goddess?!? I thought you "They arent blue."
Andrew was the next to present himself for the general acclaim of the party guests. To everyones delight, his thick brown fur had changed toshining silver. I, personally, was favorably impressed, having never seen an elderly Bigfoot before. Andrew assured everyone that his new lookwas completely normal for his species.
And, last but not least, Grace showed herself to the assembled multitude. The general reaction was one of delighted approval--the matriarch of theBuccaneer family had aged with such grace and poise as befitted her name--and her aspiration."I dont think you need to use the plastic surgery machine at all," I said decisively."Why are you spending so much time talking to us these days, Goddess?" Grace asked in response to my comment."I just... feel like Ive neglected your family for too long," I said sheepishly. "That whole affair with the Toyonagas... Im embarrassed to say Imissed the entire thing until it was over.""Something happened with the Toyonagas?""Well, its nice to know Im not the only oblivious one around here."
"Nice face," Herc, who was a long-time friend of Graces, smirked at RubyBlue. "Whatd you do? Hot tub during a thunderstorm?" "...no.""Youre a bit of a jerk, Herc, no matter how nice your mom is," Ruby said, "I can learn to baaa... and I have curly hair."shaking a disapproving finger at him. "Although I dont know that shesreally nice, after all. Zotz!ing us simselves after we saved her legacy for her. "Just go away now. Please. Youre icky."Hmph." "I do my best," Herc snickered."Mom doesnt like it when people meddle," Herc said, wincing in sympathy.He smiled winningly. "Say... want to join me for some coffee and we can "Hercules... just looking at your want panel and your memories, I think youmake fun of her incompetence together?" need a bit of reining in, too," I said sternly. "Watch it, or youll be the one with a scorched face.""Not really, no," Ruby said. "Id rather bathe a sheep." "Yesm," Herc said grumpily."Is that some kind of euphemism?"
"I dont know if I like the fact that I have to watch you all grow old and die while I stay exactly the same," Anna pouted."Youre complaining because youre not getting old?" Grace snickered. She jabbed Andrew in the ribs playfully. "You hear that, Andrew? Mysister actually wants to be old and saggy and wrinkly.""Me thinks Ms. Reaper been doing her job too long," Andrew said solemnly; he didnt join in Graces laughter. "One sees too much death, onemaybe wants to die? Or maybe Ms. Reaper just knows theres something better?""Miles and miles of white sand beaches," Susanna said dreamily. "And Im not allowed to go there. It makes the residents uncomfortable." Shepouted.
"White sand beaches, huh?" Gertie mused to Andrew a few minutes later."Dying doesnt really sound half that bad, if thats the case." "And was that a bad thing?""But it is not living," Andrew said solemnly. "Well... no," Andrew admitted.Gertie stared at him for a moment, then whooped with laughter. "Andrew, "And have you seen me use it at all since then?"you slay me. You really do." "No.""Andrew is sorry," the Bigfoot said nervously. "Please dont use theMickles!" "So you have nothing to worry about," Gertie said. "Im thinking of giving it to Shih anyway.""Andrew," Gertie said, shaking her head in exasperation. "Have I ever usedMr. Mickles on anybody that youve seen?" Andrew thought about that that. "Me think that would be nice gift. Shih is very prudent.""You used the Mickles to make us friends," Andrew pointed out.
The party died down and most of the guests wandered home. Lee, my birthday."however, chose that moment to reappear from the bedroom, wherehed been taking a cat nap. "Did I miss it?" "Brother, when you hit this age all they give you are black balloons and cards with thinly veiled insults," Gertie said."Its a good thing for you that you caught the transitions or my sisterwould kill you," Gertie teased. "You slept for four hours! Its almost "That stinks."two in the morning!" "Tell me about it. Stinks almost as much as the gorgonzola some"Yikes!" Lee cringed in embarrassment. "I guess next time Ill set an wise guy brought me for a gift."alarm. I must be getting older." "Sorry... next time Ill remember to refrigerate it properly. But hey,"Ill say," Gertie said. "Your birthday is tomo--today, right?" the stinky stuff is the good stuff! Very expensive!" And with that last retort, Lee headed back to bed."Indeed," Lee nodded. "I wonder if anybody will give me money for
It was a much smaller group that gathered for his birthday party about fourteen hours later--just the immediate family, and Susanna."Youre not here for a pickup, are you?" Lee asked nervously."Dont be silly," Anna said disgustedly. "As long as you stay away from the cow plant youll be fine.""Cow plant? Where?""In the garden, where it always is," Shih said helpfully. "Just blow out the candles and stop stalling, dad. If mom had to go through it, you can too.""I hope I dont have to wait too long for that facelift..." Lee said to himself as he leaned forward to blow out the candles.
"Go dad!" Zing cried as Lee blew out the candles with a breath that was still powerful, hinting at the strength and vitality his body still contained. Itwas obvious to all who were watching that Lee was in the prime of health.
And once hed changed, even Lee had to admit that he didnt need to go to such extreme lengths as plastic surgery. Lee was a very handsome elder."And this is some top-of-the-line name brand clothing," he added approvingly to himself as he checked out his reflection in the mirror."Suits you," I added."Who said that?!?""Geez, I really need to start meddling more," I said in an aggrieved tone. "Hasnt your wife every told you about the island deities?""Well... yeah, but I thought that was just local legend," Lee shrugged apologetically."I LIVE JUST DOWN THE STREET!"
"Well, here I am, still fit as a fiddle," Lee said, pounding on his chest "Well, shes been neglecting us," Grace shrugged. "Ive only heardvigorously as he walked into the living room to join Grace and the her voice myself a few times. I honestly thought shed moved on toparty guests. bigger and better things.""And mighty good-looking, too," Grace said approvingly as she "I live just down the road! Would it have killed you to drop by for alooked her husband up and down. "Silver hair becomes you." cup of coffee occasionally?" I demanded."Were a great-looking duo," Lee agreed. He leaned in a bit closer. "The road goes both ways, Goddess," Grace pointed out, though her"Say, how come you never told me that deity of yours was real? She voice wasnt unkind.decided to speak with me while I was changing and it just aboutscared me into an early grave!" I sniffed. "You two are a lost cause. I think I need to start over again with your daughter."
"Did you hear something?" Lee asked, wiggling a finger in his ear."Just ranting," Grace said. "Pay it no mind... just kiss me, my love."
Perhaps it wasnt too late to start over with the younger crowd. Idecided to make the attempt in the morning. "Meh, its a bit dry. And fondant icing is gross. I could have done better," Spandrell said with the air of a connoisseur."Spandrell?" I said tentatively as Lees younger alien twin devoured aslice of his dads birthday cake for breakfast. "Hellooooooo." "See? You can hear me!""Im too old for imaginary friends," he muttered to himself. "Just "Nope, I cant," Spandrell insisted. "Youre just a figment of mypretend you dont hear it, Spandrell. Its just .... the wind! Howling in imagination."the eaves! Yeah..." "Sheesh," I complained. "I really, really need to start spending more"Your house doesnt have eaves," I pointed out. "But that cake looks time with this family."good."
"Mom, how come Spandrells talking to himself in the kitchen?" steer clear of her."Borusa asked. "Aww... but Hades is fun!" Borusa complained."Oh, drat that deity," Grace complained. "Shes meddling again." "Hades?""Deity?" "Thats her kid," he explained. "Hes fun to play with. Hes in my"You know the blue lady who lives down the street?" Grace asked. class at school.""Yeah," Borusa said cautiously. "Actually, thats a good idea," Grace nodded. "Befriend the deity. Good job, Borusa! Maybe I should tell your brother that hes not"Well, shes all-powerful and given to asserting her superiority over hearing things, though..."the residents of the island," Grace said with a nod. "Youd do well to
Ten minutes later, a very disgruntled Spandrell was logged on to the always deserve it," I said.internet googling my deific wonders. "That doesnt sound very friendly.""If theres a deity on this island, it should be my friend, not Borusas,"he complained to himself. "Theres a difference between friendly and good," I pointed out. "Im a good deity, but sometimes I get vengeful.""Want to try again?" I asked him. "Youre weird," Spandrell said, logging off of the internet. "I should"I spose," Spandrell said, still clicking away furiously. "Are you a go to bed. Goodnight, strange blue lady."nice deity?" Well, I suppose there are worse things one could be called by a ten-"Well, Ive been known to zotz! people from time to time, but they year-old.
"You cant go to bed without giving your father a goodnight kiss," Lee interjected as Spandrell started walking towards the bedroom he shared withhis brother and sister."Aww... kisses are mushy," Spandrell complained, but he bounced eagerly into his fathers arms anyway."Goodnight, squirt," Lee said affectionately."Gnight, dad."
With the excitement of birthdays over and done with for the time being, and no real interest in kindling a friendship with a blue deity who wasnt ablue cheese deity, Gertie found her days starting to get rather boring.A few weeks passed. It was winter, so she couldnt garden. Pierce wasnt speaking to her due to an unfortunate misunderstanding so there was nowoohoo forthcoming. And cheese in general had begun to lose its appeal.
"I suppose theres no help for it," she complained to herself as she pulled herself off of the couch and dragged herself downstairs. "Might as wellget in shape. Ive switched to low-fat cheese and non-dairy alternatives... now its just a matter of getting off the old weight."With a sigh she began attacking the familys long-neglected punching bag with a vengeance."Hopefully this wont take too long!"
Gertie was still beating ferociously on the red leather bag whenGrace and Lee made the rounds through the boys bedroom to make "More time to devote to our investments?" Grace said excitedly.sure they really were asleep. "Ive got a stock portfolio in the bedroom I think you should take a"They look so sweet when theyre sleeping," she whispered as she look at," Lee replied with a devilish wink.reached for Lees hand. "Hard to believe how big theyre getting, isntit?" "Mmm... I love you.""Soon all of our babies will be grown up," Lee sighed. "But you "I love you too."know what that means..."
Well leave the Buccaneer family for a time and visit across the street, where Crassus Toyonaga is nearing the end of his teenaged years. Hes aknowledge sim, and when he turned thirteen he drew up a list of things that he had to experience in some way, shape, or form before he went awayto college: earn scholarships, learn to play pool, learn to play the piano, beat the hardest map on Extreme SSX3, see a birth (his dog had puppies),find a new constellation, travel somewhere exotic, kiss a girl, and cure his father Sejanus of zombieism.At this point, a few days before he was due to turn eighteen, Crassus had accomplished all but the last three items on his list. His family was due toleave for a trip to Three Lakes in a couple of days, and while hed researched zombieism extensively, he needed a proper laboratory--which hedhave access to at college. That left only one thing on his to-do list, so he called up Valerie Tse, the local matchmaker."Okay, Valerie... do your stuff."
After much hemming and hawing, Valerie eventually selected Crassus said gleefully, not noticing Tanandas annoyance at hisTananda Thayer as Crassus best match. Then she left, confident the obvious disregard for facts. "Think about it, Tananda--it would be soyoung pair would soon discover their mutual chemistry--Crassus had wonderful. My dad doesnt complain, but I know he doesnt likeactually paid her in cash, unlike some of her customers, and she being undead... even though hes a knowledge sim."wanted to do well by him. "Wait... your dads a zombie?" Tananda said, a bit more kindness in"Oh, youre so totally wrong," Tananda said with the air of an expert. her voice. "Oh wow, I didnt know. Of course you want to find a"Everybody knows that zombieism cant be cured." cure... thats so noble. Maybe I could help you?""And thats why itd be so awesome if I could prove them all wrong!" "Thatd be really cool," Crassus said with a grin.
Once the ice was broken, the rest of their date went really well."Will I see you again soon?" Tananda asked wistfully as she got ready to go home."Probably not until we get to university," Crassus said regretfully. "My parents and I are going on vacation in a few days, and we wont be backuntil its time to leave. Are you going to Le Academie de Tour?""Of course!" Tananda said."Then Ill see you there," Crassus said. Shyly, he leaned forward and gently brushed his lips against Tanandas. Both of them swore they could seehearts swirling through the air around them. "Ill email you while Im gone.""Id like that."
Meanwhile, in Paris..."You are sure about zis?""Very sure.""Vell, in zat case," the vampire shrugged.
"Zis might hurt just a bit," she added.
A few seconds later, and it was done."Bleh," the countess grinned."BLEH!" Ellen Toyonaga, wife to Sejanus and mother of Crassus, hissed in return. She smiled happily, exposing inch-and-a-half long fangswickedly. Then, with a loud cackle, she jumped into the air... and disappeared.
"Honey, Im home," Ellen hissed as she stalked through the door. Sejanus did as his wife commanded and his eyes widened. He knewSejanus mumbled incoherently, pointing at the clock and signing what the pale skin, the red eyes, and the glistening fangs meant.fluently. Youre home early. Why?"Well... I took an extra vacation day," Ellen said, some discomfort "For you," Ellen said, with a catch in her throat. "Only for you, myevident in her voice. "I had some things to... take care of." love. So that we have all the time in the world together... so that we can find a cure for your condition if there is one, or be together forLike what? Sejanus expression was concerned. always, if there isnt.""Just... look at me, darling," Ellen said softly. "Really look at me." Sejanus blinked.
Ellen led him upstairs, and as they shared their love for each other once again, they both promised silently that they would never give up searchingfor a cure.
And once Sejanus had fallen asleep, Ellen got out of bed to take care of the other requirements of being a vampire. She pulled some long-forgottengoth clothes out of the closet, dyed her hair black, and set up a coffin next to the bed she and Sejanus had shared for so long.Her last thought before sunrise was a mental note to switch the familys flight to Three Lakes to an evening one.
Fortunately, it was possible to switch flights.Unfortunately, the camp where they were staying was really rustic.Fortunately, Ellen was well-versed in the art of meditation.Unfortunately, she still gave off a lingering aroma of hot dogs.
While she encouraged Sejanus and Crassus to see the sights, both assured her they were happy to wait until nightfall. Their camp was on a lake,and the fishing was excellent.Plus, it allowed Sejanus and Crassus to spend a lot of quality time together--the vacation was one they would treasure for the rest of their lives,however long that might be.
And really, everything was open at night as well as during the day, so it wasnt like theyd missed out on anything good. They napped during theafternoon and spent the evenings with Ellen.As they all climbed wearily back onto the plane--another red-eye flight, with special service for vampires--they all agreed it had been the bestvacation ever.
A short visit with the feline branch of the Buccaneer family tree isnow indicated. "Cake is not lie?""Shere Khan all gone," Rakshasi Thayer told her toy rocket ship "The cake is not a lie," Rajah laughed. "Although why you had tosadly. "Livin here--he doin it rong. Sad tiger." learn to talk from your older brother... youre going to be impossible to understand when youre older.""Its no time to be a sad tiger," her father, Rajah, declared, swoopinginto Rakshasis room and scooping her up into his arms. "Guess "Fabbergastin pawents... I doin it rite," Rakshasi giggled, tossing thewhat?" rocket to the floor."Wha?" There was a faint boom behind them."Your favorite brother is here just for today... its your birthday "No more gifts from Uncle Jack," Rajah sighed. "Guess Im paintingparty!" tomorrow."
"Sere Khan!" Rakshasi giggled when she realized that her beloved older brother really was there."O hai kitteh," Shere Khan responded, ruffling Rakshasis hair before he positioned himself around the cake. "U bloz out kandels nao?""I has a birfday!"
"Bein cute... ur doin it right," Shere Khan said approvingly. "Happy to find out how to maek baybeez weird--DO WANT. But its hard."birthday, Shasi." "Thats just cause youre marrying a boy," Rakshasi said, wrinkling"Thanks, SK," the little tigress giggled. "Pls to can be stayin awhile?" her nose. "Invisible cooties.""I have to fly back tonight," Shere Khan complained. "Midterms--DO "Do not want," Shere Khan agreed. "But Zings cool."NOT WANT!" "Nifty Zing is nifty. But you could just adopt.""Thats stinky like Stevens litterbox," Rakshasi said sympathetically."But you likes skool?" "Mad science--thas doin it rong.""Meh, is okeh-dokeh," Shere Khan said. "Lernin--Do WANT. Tryin "I paspose."
And in Paris, on the campus of Le Academie de Tour... "Sounds good to me," Toby said."Oh, wow... this house is so totally sweet," Toby breathed, gazing atthe luxurious structure in awe. "I call the master bedroom," Zing declared."My mom designed it," Hugo said proudly. "Aww... but my mom built it.""Really?" "Yeah, but Im the legacy spare," Zing said. "Youre just a sparely spare. You can have one of the other bedrooms. The house is way"Really," Hugo nodded. "The original plans had a nursery and stuff, bigger than we need."but that can be your room, Toby. On the first floor, so the rest of usdont have to try to fall asleep to the sound of you wooing and "True. At least we dont have to share," Hugo agreed.hooing."
Once the boys were moved in, Rose Buccaneer, a distant cousin of the boys, was more than happy to call for a taxi and move back home. Herfiancé, Two, had been waiting patiently for her to graduate for what felt like an eternity.
"Its about time," Rose murmured to herself as she grew up. "Wedding and babies... here I come!"
"Okay, so weve got the house to ourselves," Hugo said. "Term papers are still a ways off. Skills were learned even before we started college. Sowhat should we do?"Toby didnt say anything. He just gestured.Zing nodded in agreement. "TOGA!"
Quickly the boys sprang into pre-party mode. Zing dashed outside to make sure the cow plant wasnt hungry--his parents would kill him if he letany of his cousins get eaten.And then... just as the cowplant belched happily...
...the guests started arriving, Lucretia Marius leading the way.
And they kept coming.Zing was breathless with anticipation--this would be his first chance to see Shere Khan since hed arrived at university.
It...didnt take them long to get re-acquainted."Whoa! A little warning next time!"This deity started blushing and decided to leave them in privacy without comment, as any such comment would likely be BANNED4LYFE.
Meanwhile, on the front doorstep..."Sweet... a toga party... that means a chance to meet all the new freshmen pledging the house," Ophelia Smith said to herself as she strodeconfidently up the front steps. "I think this is going to be a fantastic evening."
"Do I know you?" Hugo had changed into his pajamas, not feeling comfortable in the nakedness of a toga."Not yet, but I wouldnt mind getting to know you better," Ophelia said frankly, gazing at Hugos chiseled musculature appreciatively.Hugo blushed. "Err... I dont think my... that is, Lainey wouldnt... I mean, were broken up, but...""Eww," Ophelia shuddered. "Baggage. Maybe some other time, pretty-boy. When youre not hung up on this Lainey chick. And when I can figureout why your voice seems so familiar."With an airy wave, Ophelia strode past Hugo and into the house.
She was just helping herself to a bag of chips from the refrigerator, and wondering why the hosts even stored their chips there in the first place,when she realized she was being watched."Do you have a problem?" she demanded, giving Toby an evil look."Sorry, I just cant help staring," Toby said, flashing his most winning smile at her. "Youre the hottest woman Ive ever seen.""Well, obviously," Ophelia said. But she didnt mind being flattered, even by someone who set her on edge the way Toby did. "This your place?""It belongs to my family," Toby nodded.
"I didnt know the Grim Reaper dabbled in real estate," Ophelia smirked."The Gr-- who said anything about the Grim Reaper?" Toby spluttered."Simple, party boy," Ophelia said. "I looked you up. It wasnt hard to find out. There arent a lot of men giving birth in this part of the world. Itwasnt hard to connect Toby Biggs with Gavin Biggs, and I can read between the lines as well as anybody."
"So what if my moms the Grim Reaper?" Toby shrugged. "It just means that Ive got a few... special powers. Which Id be happy to show you.""Tangling with the supernatural has caused me nothing but problems in the past," Ophelia said. Her voice was still haughty, but there was a note ofanguish in it, too, barely detectable if you knew to listen for it--which Toby didnt."Im not like other freaks," Toby said. "Anyway, its not like Im asking you to sleep with me or anything. But I wouldnt mind being friends withyou."
"Toby Biggs," Ophelia said, staring at him in disbelief, "I dont believe that for a second, and the reason I dont believe that is because you and I arecut from the same cloth. The only women youre just friends with are gay, and youre secretly hoping that theyll invite you over for a playdate justthe same.""Well, since were being brutally honest with each other...""I dont think so, Toby. Even if you do have the hottest body Ive see this side of Terra Lostundo."
"Well, this definitely looks like the right place," Ian Legacina nodded as he approached the rockin frat house. "I hope Angie isnt upset that Imlate."He walked around the house to the back yard, since it sounded like that was where most of the party was at."Ian!"
Angora squealed happily and flung herself at the handsome red-head. "I thought you werent going to make it!""Class let out early," Ian said, giving her one of his rare smiles."Well, Im so glad youre here," Angora said, swooning dramatically. Ian reacted quickly to catch her. He was used to Angoras theatrics even afteronly a couple of semesters of dating. "Everyone has been pairing off and I was starting to feel kinda lonely.""Why didnt you just find somebody to cuddle with? Like that guy?" he gestured at Zing."Why would I do that?" Angora asked, her voice filled with puzzlement that rapidly changed to hurt. "Weve been exclusive for months. Do youreally think Id cheat on you? Besides, Zing is gay.""Err.. I knew that," Ian said. "And... Ive been hurt before, thats all."
"Oh, Ian," Angora sighed, leaning forward and kissing him gently on the lips. Zing realized he should probably vamoose at this point. "Id never doanything to hurt you. Im sorry you were betrayed in the past... but Im not like that."Ians heart caught in his throat and he fiddled with his hands nervously. "I want to believe you," he whispered."Then do," Angora smiled. The kiss this time was longer. "I love you, Ian Legacina."Ian could hardly speak, but he forced the words out in a voice thick with emotion. "I love you too, Angie."And inside, he felt something snap... some bond of pain that had been hindering him for far too long. For the first time since Lisa had betrayedhim... Ian felt whole."Come on, Ian," Angie said, taking his hand in hers. "Its getting late. Walk me home?"
As the last few guests either stumbled home or found a square of all over again, but Im willing to try."floor to sleep on, Hugo Pseudo was finding himself as overcome withemotion as Ian had been earlier in the evening. "That is more than I deserve, Hugo Pseudo," Lainey said, squeezing Hugos hands tightly."Lainey... I dont want us to be broken up anymore," he said slowly."Ive been so angry at you since we broke up and its eating me up "It is," Hugo agreed. "But you only get one chance. I love you, but Iinside. Its turning me into ... well... into a not-nice person. I dont wont be a doormat."want to be that person." "I will not blow it," Lainey said softly.Lainey didnt say anything. She knew better than to interrupt. "Just promise me honesty," Hugo said. "Thats all Im asking for. If"But dating you again..." Hugo sighed, taking Laineys hands into his. you fall for someone else... Ill let you go. But dont lie.""Can we start over? From the beginning? I have to learn to trust you
"Well, that was some party," Zing said happily as he lined up a shot on the Zing said. "I was a little busy. In your room, since you werent needing it."Greek house pool table. "Everywhere I turned around, I saw people ... errr ...hooking up." "Okay, thats just not okay," Toby complained. "Dudes just dont disrespect each other’s bedrooms like that.""Yeah, everyone except me," Toby complained. "Did you see that, Zing?She totally turned me down!" "Yes we do," Zing said. "If your room was busy you wouldnt hesitate to use mine, if you had a pretty girl over.""Who did?" Zing asked. "A mans room is his sanctuary.""That blond chick, Ophelia," Toby said. "How could you not notice her?Shes gorgeous! Blond hair... legs that just dont quit... and shes got brains, "Toby."too." "Okay, youre right. But next time use Hugos room. Where is he, anyway?""In case you hadnt noticed, I was seeing SK for the first time in months,"
"I think hes making up with Lainey," Zing said.
"Well, hed better be using his own room, thats all Im saying," Toby "Ooh, I could keep inviting over girls and you could write about howsaid. "I cant believe you broke in my bed before I did, Zing! No much I liked them after I got to know them a little better," Tobywonder my mojo deserted me tonight. It was seriously pathetic. grinned. "I like this idea."Every line I tried, she shot me down." "Thatd probably get me expelled," Zing said. "No, I think Im going"I cant believe it," Zing said teasingly. "Toby... it sounds like you to do a study of unrequited passion..."actually like this woman." "Dude, youre totally dreaming," Toby said, lining up a shot on the"I like all women," Toby said automatically. eight-ball. "Anyway, just you watch. Shell be mine by the end of the term.""Not as much as you like this one," Zing said. "Its like the fact thatshe shot you down makes you want her even more. Im totally "Whatever you say, Toby."writing my psych paper on you." "Shut up."
"Oh, Fuzzbutt," Hugo said happily to the little womrat mascot after he ushered Lainey out of the house at an ungodly hour of the morning."Everythings going to be just perfect from now on."I certainly hoped he was right.
Sometimes I wondered, though. I especially wondered why some people seemed to be courting trouble. Now that Lucretia Marius was finally atuniversity, shed eagerly resumed her relationship with Robin. Robin certainly seemed happy enough, even though Lucretia was a true romancer.I decided to leave that pair be--if they were fated, so be it. Besides, I was enjoying the thought of making them move in with the Professor,Lucretias mom. I was sure much hilarity would ensue.
The other residents of Toyonaga Legacy dorm seemed to find themselves with a lot of time on their hands, but they all soon learned not to playchess with Shere Khan. The tigertastic sim cheated like a fiend, which was surprising, since he was certainly smart enough to win without cheating."Gah! You did it again!" Snoopy complained when he returned his attention to the board. "Thats not where that pawn was!""Pawned," Shere Khan shrugged. "If I can get you to look just by shouting Charlie Brown! and pointing, you deserve to be cheated on.""Errr..." Snoopy had to concede that one.
Still, he had his own revenge a few minutes later."Look! A scientist whos discovered the secret of male pregnancy!"Both Snoopy and Shere Khan vowed that the mutual cheating and attempts to catch said cheating helped keep them on top of their games. As forthe others, they found the whole thing hilarious... and avoided playing chess with either of them.
And despite their chess rivalry, Shere Khan and Snoopy were actually very close. Snoopy was totally supportive of Shere Khans attempt to findout the secret of male pregnancy, and Shere Khan was sympathetic to Snoopys inability to figure out which of the ladies he was dating he reallywanted to settle down with.
"Justinian, youre familiar with the paranormal," Shere Khan said one evening while the two of them were studying together in the cafeteria."What? I suppose so," Justinian shrugged. "As much as anybody.""So tell me... do any of your freaky deaky relatives know anything about male pregnancy?""Youre actually speaking normally for once and this is the subject you choose to talk about?" Justinian yawned. "SK, its three in the morning. Idont have the energy to talk about stuff like that. Ask Toby--his dad got pregnant.""You can has cookie!" Shere Khan said gleefully. He leaped up from his chair and dashed down the hall to his room. "Givin me idears... ur doin itrite!""Glad to be of service," Justinian yawned. He packed up his papers and headed back to his dorm.
It was a beautiful fall day as first term drew to a close, and Angora "So what if I am?" Angora said. "I get to hang out with my bestand Toshiko were taking advantage of the fact that theyd finished friend at the same time. Its a win-win situation."their midterm assignments. "Yeah, for you," Toshiko said. "I get to be ditched as soon as his"I wish there was a park near our dorm," Toshiko said as she tossed royal handsomeness shows up."the softball at her cousin. "Were kind of blocking the path." "Ive never ditched you unless you were actually okay with it,""Thats okay," Angora said. "That just means that everybody who Angora protested. "If you were lying when you said you were, thatswalks in has to go past us." your fault.""Aha!" Toshiko burst out laughing. "You... have an ulterior motive, "Nah, I dont mind," Toshiko said. "Im just a little jealous. I haventAngora. Youre just waiting for Ian to get back from class!" met anyone who makes me go all fluttery like Ian and you."
"Aww, Im sure the right person is out there for you, Toshiko," "Oh, hey Ian," Toshiko said, waving. "How was class?"Angora said soothingly. "Same old, same old," Ian shrugged. "How was band practice?""You dont need to be patronizing," Toshiko said. "Im happy the wayI am. Its just that it would be ... nice. You know, to have someone to "Err... I kind of got yelled at," Toshiko said sheepishly. "They didntplan a future with. Somebody who isnt afraid of the beauty of like that the piece I suggested we play can set off a harmonicharmonic detonations, for starters." resonance in certain buildings and make them collapse.""Hed have to be pretty brave... or just plain crazy," Ian chuckled, "You really are crazy," Ian said, but there was fondness in his voice.coming down the sidewalk towards the dorm. Hed spent a lot of time around Toshiko since she was Angoras best friend, and they got along really well.
"Ill just leave you two lovebirds alone," Toshiko said, putting the ball in her pocket and walking towards the dorm. "Dont stay out all night, youtwo!" she called back over her shoulder."You can hang out with us if you like," Angora said. "We dont have a date planned or anything.""Nah, thats okay," Toshiko said. "But thanks. Ive got this new compound I want to try synthesizing in my room. Research shows it has thepotential to change the entire current scientific understanding of explosive potential. And itll make a great substitute for ivory on piano keys."
"I never know whether shes joking when she says stuff like that," Iancomplained. "I havent seen them in a long time," Ian said. "Except for Opie, who came with me. But I miss them. Sometimes its hard... not knowing"Err..." Angora decided it was safest to change the subject. "Your how theyre doing. And my parents are getting old..." he sighed.rooms at the opposite end of the dorm anyway. So do you want to go "Have you ever lost anyone, Angie?"back there and hang out?" "My grandmother," Angora replied. "When I was a teenager. It was"I guess," Ian said with a shrug. "Theres not much else to do." hard.""Well, I can think of a few things," Angora said. "And no, I wasnt "I hate that people have to die... and leave the ones they love," Ianthinking of that. I just mean... you know all about me and my family said fiercely. "Id die if you... if anything happened to you. Lets goand friends, and I know next to nothing about yours." inside, and Ill tell you all about them. Youd like them."
It was well after midnight when Ian finally stopped talking. "And I love you, just the same," Angora said. "Imperfections and all- -if youll promise to do the same for me.""Wow," Angora said softly. "Sometimes I worry that Im building you up too much in my mind,""I know," Ian said. "Its pretty heavy stuff." Ian said slowly. "Ive done that before... and you know how it ended. So bring on the warts, Angora... Ill love you because of them.""And youve been keeping it bottled up for so long..." "In that case... marry me?" Angora dropped down on one knee."Not exactly healthy," Ian agreed wryly. "But thats part of who I am.I get gloomy, and depressed." "Wh-what?"
"I mean it, Ian," Angora said. "Just you and me, together. Warts and all.""I think Id like to say yes," Ian said."Then say it!" Angora giggled."Only if you do first," Ian said."Yes.""Yes."
As Ian embraced her, Angora murmured softly in his ear. "Speaking of warts, Ive got one on my shoulder, right there where your nose is..."
A few days later, Toast caught Justinian walking past the dorm. "I do," Toast replied. "And I must say, Justinian, I thought you knew"Youve been avoiding me, Justinian," Toast said. me better than that.""Err?" Justinian gulped. And, in truth, he had been avoiding her... "Umm... are we talking about the same thing?"ever since hed broken off his affair with Lainey, hed been worriedthat Toast would find out. "I think so," Toast said. "Unless youve got something else on your conscience.""And I know why," Toast said. "No, nothing on my conscience," Justinian squeaked."Y-you do?"
"Well then," Toast said. "Ive decided to put your mind at ease. Im willing to have one baby. But only one, mind you. If its twins, I reserve theright to do nasty things to you with garden shears."Justinian coughed. "Oh... that. Well, whatever you want, honey.""And I hope you know what a sacrifice this is," Toast continued."Um... yes?"Apparently that was the right thing to say, as Toast didnt press the matter further, but instead changed the subject to the details of their next party.Justinian exhaled slowly. He hadnt realized hed been holding his breath. Did this mean hed gotten away with it? Anyway, he knew one thing... hewas never cheating again. He shivered. Garden shears...
"Do you know how cool this is?" Ian said gleefully as he tossed a big handful of leaves in the air. "Back where Im from, it was stuck in winter forsoooo long. My brother Elijah and his wife only just managed to fix everything before I ... left.""I dont know if you should do that, Ian," Toshiko warned him.
"Why not?" Ian asked, falling backwards onto one of the neatly raked piles."Two reasons," Toshiko said. "First of all, because I buried my new prototype landmine right there--dont worry, it wont activate unless somebodysings Its a Small World--and secondly..." she paused and pointed.
"Because Angoras the one raking them all up, and shes shooting evil looks at you.""Oops," Ian said sheepishly, getting up. "Sorry, Angie.""No worries, Ian," Angie said sweetly. "Its just your warts showing.""Ribbit," Ian smirked."Whats so funny?" Toshiko asked, completely mystified as the other two fell over laughing.
"Private joke," Ian shrugged. "Cmon, Toshiko... help me bag thisstuff up?" "Gah!" Ian jumped about six feet sideways."I dont know how you can be so enthusiastic about chores," Toshiko Toshiko burst out laughing. "Gotcha."grumbled. "Ooh, watch your step. That ones a different kind." "Youre nuts," Ian grumbled."Huh?" "The real ones actually right there," she added, pointing to a spot"Of landmine. That ones pressure activated." about six inches from his foot.
It was a very nervous Justinian Toyonaga who paced the entry hall of his dorm on a bright, frosty day at the end of fall term."Okay, so the worst thing that can happen is shell say no," he told himself. "No, the worst thing that can happen is shell say yes, and then find outabout Lainey, and then concoct a plan for revenge. So the worst thing that can happen is shell say yes. So I just shouldnt propose. But then shellknow that something is wrong cause everyones getting engaged. So I should propose. but then she might say no!"
At that moment, Toast walked into the dorm. "Oh, sure," she said. "I cheated on you with Toby anyway. So were even.""You wanted to see me?" she asked. "Really?""Err," Justinian said. He took a deep breath."ImsorryIcheatedonyouwithLaineyandIwonteverdoitagainandwillyo "Well, only because I found out that you cheated on me first," Toastumarrymepleaseandnotkillmewiththegardenshears?" said. "Otherwise I wouldnt have bothered with Toby. He has an awfully high opinion of himself. But if you do it again, Im siccingToast stared at him for a moment as she puzzled that out. Uranium on you."
"So thats a yes?""Thats a yes.""And youre not going to hurt me?""Not this time.""Sweet!"
While Toast and Justinian celebrated their engagement in their own inimitable fashion, the dorm was handily invaded by the Greek boys."What the heck are they all doing here?" Lainey asked herself as she watched them. Then she noticed that they were running around like a bunchof idiot chickens with their heads cut off. "Oh. Rushing pledges."She followed them towards the front door. "Hugo Pseudo," she called after them. "Could I have a word with you?""Bet thats not all she wants," Toby snickered."Shut up, Toby!""Fine, fine," Toby shrugged and sauntered into the dorm. "Just remember were here for," and he looked at a piece of paper, "David Ottomas. Gottafind out if the dudes worthy to join Arravast or not."
"So whats up?" Hugo asked, hugging Lainey in greeting. "Oh," Lainey said contritely."You havent been over to see me in a long time," Lainey said. "Youdo not protest when I visit you--you seem to look forward to my "But its okay now," Hugo said. "And Ive missed surprising you withvisits. But you never come here." a visit and stuff.""Oh, that," Hugo said sheepishly. "Well... its just that for a long time "I have missed it too," Lainey said. "Will you come inside? Its coldI couldnt get the image of you telling me youd cheated out of my out here, Hugo Pseudo, and my South Pacific blood has not adjustedhead, even after we made up. And you told me here. So whenever I to... winter."was here, I would remember it again."
So the two of them went inside... and Hugo was startled speechless by the sight of Lainey dropping to one knee in front of him."Woooo! Ball and chain!" Toby yelled as he ran past. "Just say no, dude!"Lainey glared at him, then put him out of her mind. Instead, she focused all of her attention on Hugo.
"Hugo Pseudo," she said hesitantly."Come on, lets do this thang!" Toby hooted."Toby! Shut up!" Zing hissed. "Cant you see youre totally killing the moment?""Oh," Toby blushed. "I thought it was a joke. Umm... Ill just leave now.""That would be nice," Lainey said in a chilly voice.
"Now, as I was saying before we were so rudely interrupted," Lainey said, taking a deep breath, "Hugo Pseudo, Ive loved you since we wereteenagers. Will you marry me?""Of course I will, Lainey Barthelet," Hugo said, a catch in his voice. He slipped the ring on his finger, and sheepishly pulled a womansengagement ring out of his pocket. "Beat me to the punch. I love you, Lainey." And he slid the matching ring onto her finger.
But even as he pulled her close, he couldnt entirely stamp out thatone last bit of niggling doubt... Angora is the granddaughter of De/fireflower314/fireflowersims (livejournal), writer of the Morgan and Pierce legacies. Rose is DesTo be continued in Part 2... daughter.Simselves Justinian is the grandson of Denise/avidreader2466, writer of theRuby Blue... Ah Rubyblue (Goldilocks and the Nine Heirs) Puritanical Green Thumb legacy. Crassus is his brother and Ellen isToast... Ephemeral Toast (Apocalypso-A-Go-Go, Ugothlacy) their mother.Professor... loolooloo16play, aka ProfessorButters (Squeaky CleanLegacy) Shere Khan is the grandson of Blite27/Ben, writer of the Ten Caesars legacy.Hugos mom is orikes360 (aka Orikes), writer of the Pseudo Legacy,and both Ian Legacina and Ophelia Smith are imports from her If I missed anyone, Im sorry! Ill try to credit you at the end of part 2,legacy. which should be out in the next couple of days.